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How Do I Extend a Desktop to Two Monitors

October 03, 2011  |  Difficulty: Easy

How to set up your extended Windows® desktop if you have two monitors plugged in

Workstations may often have two monitors plugged in, but only if the graphic card enables it. By using two displays you can have a broad view of your desktop especially when you have multiple windows open which is much easier to work with than on a single monitor. This is quite a common function of your operating system. If you own two monitors and a graphics card with two outputs, just follow the instructions below on how to set up your extended Windows® desktop.

Instructions for Microsoft Windows® XP:

  1. First, you need to be at your current desktop. Minimize all applications or show your desktop by pressing “Win Key + D” on your keyboard.
  2. Right–click on your desktop.
  3. Choose “Properties” in the dropdown menu.
  4. Switch to the “Settings” tab.
  5. In the main information window (dark gray background) you can see the detected monitor icons and their numeric identification (1, 2). Click on monitor number “2,” or select it from the “Display” dropdown menu below.
  6. Check the “Extend my Windows desktop on this monitor” checkbox.
  7. Click the “OK” button.
  8. Your desktop viewing area should now increase and extend to your second monitor!

Instructions for Microsoft Windows Vista® and Windows® 7:

  1. Click “Start” then the “Control panel” button.
  2. In the “Appearance and Personalization” section click on the “Adjust screen resolution” selection.
  3. In the main information window, you can see the detected monitor icons and their numeric identification (1, 2). Click on monitor number “2,” or select it from the “Display” dropdown menu below.
  4. In the “Multiple displays” dropdown menu, choose the “Extend desktop to this display” option.
  5. Click the “OK” button.
  6. Your desktop viewing area should now increase and extend to your second monitor!

Tips and tricks:

  • If you click the “Identify” button, you can clearly detect which monitor is number 1 and which is 2.

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